Asphalt Paving Blog

4 Extreme Weather Conditions To Be Aware Of To Prolong The Life Of Asphalt Pavement

Posted by J. Mrugacz on Feb 3, 2015

In the winter months, it seems like the same thing each week: freeze, thaw and repeat. As the temperature fluctuates outside, have you ever wondered what that means for your asphalt pavement? Many external forces, including the weather, can affect asphalt; here are a few things to consider.

Residential Asphalt Driveway Repair and Repave Done Right - Wolf Paving (Case Study)

Posted by J. Mrugacz on Nov 18, 2014

In the summer of 2014, Rick Sparks from Fall River contacted Wolf Paving to demolish his existing driveway and install a new driveway that better met his needs. Rick had recently installed a new retaining wall and wanted the paved surface to extend to the wall. He also wanted the edges of his driveway straightened.

5 Qualities To Look For In An Asphalt Paving Contractor

Posted by J. Mrugacz on Aug 27, 2014

Whether your project includes driveway, highway, parking lot, activity area paving needs or more, choosing a quality asphalt paving company both for commercial and residential projects should include some research on service providers as well as recommendations from trusted sources, third party reviews and references. It’s important to take multiple sources of information and recommendations into consideration when making your final choice. Along with opinions shared and found through your research, the quality of paving materials and products to be used should be a factor considered when making a decision. If you are looking for a professional paving contractor with expert engineers, here are a few qualities you should consider:


  1. Price: Competitive pricing is an important factor when choosing an asphalt paving contractor and representatives should offer to provide a complimentary site visit and quote. Considerations in regard to price should include quality of equipment, type of asphalt mixture, complexity of the project area, municipal ordinances, removal of existing surfaces, environmental factors and recycling options
  2. Reviews: A reputable asphalt paving company will openly share customer reviews and / or a Better Business Bureau rating. Oftentimes, a company’s reviews or case study examples will be shared on their website to be viewed by new and prospective companies or individuals. In some cases, an asphalt paving company will recommend a new customer visit a project site that is in production or recently completed.
  3. Years of experience & project history: Leaning on the knowledge of an experienced asphalt paving representative will help you make good choices for your property as well as save you money. Representatives that are able to communicate in a clear and informed way, while providing good examples of challenging projects and solutions they have provided for other customers, are likely to be the best partners for your project.
  4. Licensed and insured: There should be no resistance by your asphalt paving contractor to provide documentation showing that they are licensed and insured. This documentation not only provides protection for their representatives and equipment, it provides protection for you and your property as well.
  5. Warranty: A good contractor should stand by their work and make customer satisfaction a priority. While not always offered or limited, asking for a project warranty (workmanship & materials) will guarantee that the project is completed to industry standards and the unique needs of your property (as agreed upon at the start of the project). Most company warranties are different based on project circumstances – so be sure to have all information in writing before the start of your project. Installation experts should also provide tips to help you extend the life of your newly paved or seal-coated surface.

3 Driveway Pros & Cons: Gravel vs. Asphalt Paving

Posted by J. Mrugacz on Aug 19, 2014

Driveways are oftentimes one of the most overlooked areas of home construction and maintenance, although one of the first aesthetic components of your home that visitors notice.

The material used for your driveway can have a significant impact on not only the way it looks, but it also affects its durability and function. There are many factors to consider when choosing which type of material to use when laying a residential driveway.

While it’s always important to lean on the consultation of an installation expert, some factors that will help you make the appropriate decision include:

  • cost
  • soil type
  • climate
  • appearance and
  • usage

This helpful guide will get you on the path to choosing the best driveway for your home and will provide pros and cons for two of the most common driveway surfaces – gravel and asphalt.

Gravel Driveways

Gravel is a common surface material for driveways throughout the United States. The crushed stone used in many applications can be easy to maintain and available in a various array of colors. Installation of a gravel driveway should be conducted by an experienced grade operator to minimize ongoing maintenance. Additional factors to be considered include the following pros & cons:


  1. Easy on your budget. Gravel is one of the most affordable surface material options available - especially for homes with long driveways. However, top-dressing the gravel material will be required every few years.
  2. Easy to maintain. Many consider a gravel driveway as easy to maintain as a paved surface. Gravel may sink due to environmental conditions such as rainwater or snow. Filling in sunken areas caused by weather conditions may need to be done a few times a year. Because gravel is permeable, it is an environmentally friendly product that allows replenishment of ground water.
  3. Diverse style. Depending on the style of your home, gravel can oftentimes bring out the beauty of your exterior landscape more so than many other materials. Whether you like a rustic or more modern feel, gravel can be obtained in a variety of options.
  4. Quick installation. As one of the easiest driveway materials in terms of installation, laying a gravel driveway and allowing it to settle will take less than a week. Once installed, it can be used immediately


  1. Climate and snow removal disturbs rocks. One major con to choosing a gravel driveway surface (especially living in the Midwest) is the challenge faced with snow and ice removal. During winter months, removal of snow can be difficult. Oftentimes, using salt or sand on top of the snow & gravel can be the only solution to make the surface slip-free.
  2. Ruts and sinkholes may form. Gravel driveways that have a high level of usage may be prone to developing ruts. Ruts are gaps or holes in the surface that will need to be filled to keep the area smooth and looking good.
  3. It can be dirty. Driving down a gravel driveway can cause dust, debris and dirt to fly – especially in the dry summer months. This may cause the exterior of your home to become dirty and require frequent cleaning.

Asphalt Driveways

Like gravel, asphalt is an economical driveway surface choice, although price may fluctuate due to the material being an oil-based product. A properly installed asphalt driveway will act similar to a concrete surface, but at a lower cost. Additionally, because asphalt is a petroleum product, it is flexible which makes it less susceptible to fluctuating Midwest temperatures and climate conditions. The following pros & cons will help you determine if asphalt is the right choice for you:


  1. Economical option. Homeowners appreciate the sleek appearance of an asphalt-paved driveway at a lower cost than concrete or paver surfaces.
  2. Flexible in extreme climate conditions. Asphalt driveways typically cost $2 - $5 per sq foot to install - more than gravel, but much less than many other options.
  3. Long lifespan. With proper maintenance, an asphalt driveway will last anywhere from 12 – 35 years depending on installation, climate, usage and other factors. Like most elements of your home, the better you take care of it, the longer it will last.


  1. Style limitations. If style and color are a major consideration for your exterior landscape, an asphalt-paved driveway will present certain limitations. Although it compliments the color and tone of most homes, black is the only option available for asphalt applications.
  2. Required maintenance. It is recommended that a homeowner clean their driveway with a broom and power washer at least two times a year to remove dirt and debris. Seal coating of the pavement is required every two to five years and cracks and holes should be repaired as soon as possible.
  3. Can be damaged during extreme heat. Homes located in warm climates may be susceptible to driveway damage caused by fluctuation in temperature – particularly extreme heat. When asphalt heats, it can become pliable and soft which causes indentations and marks.

3 Reasons To Choose Asphalt For New Home Driveway Construction

Posted by J. Mrugacz on Jul 15, 2014

There are many decisions to be made and factors to consider when building or purchasing a newly constructed home. During the construction process, driveway features are oftentimes overlooked but typically the first impression a visitor or prospective buyer will notice about a home. Choosing what type of driveway can be a big decision that impacts the overall curb appeal of the home and functionality of exterior space. Options such as asphalt, concrete and interlocking pavers are available – all with very different aesthetic and performance qualities. Geographic location can play a significant role when deciding what material is best for new driveway construction – especially if you live in cold or wet climates. Here are 3 reasons why asphalt is the best option for home-builders or buyers in the Midwest: